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The Village Common Forest (VCF): Community-Driven Forest Conservation in Chittagong Hill Tracts

  • Tapan Kumar NathEmail author
  • Mohammed Jashimuddin
  • Makoto Inoue
Chapter
Part of the World Forests book series (WFSE, volume 22)

Abstract

This chapter describes the historical background of village common forest (VCF) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and, then drawing on empirical data from Komolchari VCF, examines peoples’ dependency, indigenous management, and forest health. Although public forests have been degraded seriously, the indigenous people in the CHT have been managing VCF sustainably for at least 200 years. It was found that not only members of the VCF, but also neighbors depend on VCF’s resources for fuelwood, bamboo, timber, vegetables, wild fruits, vines, or medicinal plants. The VCF is a vital source of water supply and a storehouse of local biodiversity. The vegetation study identified 94 plant species with a mean density of 587 tree/ha and a mean aboveground biomass of 453 tree/ha. The VCF has been managed by informal indigenous rules. All villagers have equal access to resources and equally contribute to the protection and development of VCF. However, population pressure combined with improved marketing facilities, over exploitation, personal greed, and tenure insecurity is exerting pressure on VCF. Recognizing the traditional and customary resource rights of the indigenous communities, acknowledging resource management system, providing tenure security, encouraging communities through legal and financial incentives, and at the same time upholding the spirit of CHT Peace Accord 1997 could be important policy tools for the sustainability of VCF in the CHT.

Keywords

Indigenous People Forest Resource Indigenous Community Degraded Forest Bamboo Shoot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tapan Kumar Nath
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammed Jashimuddin
    • 2
  • Makoto Inoue
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BiosciencesUniversity of Nottingham Malaysia CampusSemenyihMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Forestry and Environmental SciencesUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh
  3. 3.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan

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